UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his concern for the human rights violations faced by the Yazidi minority in Northern Iraq on Aug. 3, stating that actions of the Islamic State (IS) may amount to genocide. Two years ago the IS attacked the Sinjar area in Iraq killing nearly 5,000 individuals. The statement claims that 3,200 Yazidi women and children remain in captivity and are subjected to nearly unimaginable violence. The Secretary-General proclaimed these acts may constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide. The UN encouraged the Iraqi government to bring perpetrators of these crimes to justice, with a fair trials and due process, while supporting the survivors.
IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has been accused of war crimes on a massive scale in Iraq and Syria. In March US Secretary of State John Kerry said that IS "is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims." Also in March the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution denouncing the actions of IS as "genocide" and called for the establishment of international and domestic tribunals by UN member states to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In December Amnesty International said that IS is in possession of a "large and lethal" arsenal due to decades of reckless arms trading and the poorly regulated international flow of weapons into Iraq. In September members of Iraq's Yazidi community met with International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and urged the court to open a genocide investigation into IS actions in Northern Iraq.
From Jurist, Aug. 4. Used with permission.